Answer: Two new bivalent COVID boosters have recently been approved: a Pfizer booster for individuals 5-11 years old and a Moderna booster for those 6-11 years old. Please note that the dose for children 5-11 years old is smaller than the dose we already offer for adolescents 12 years and older.
Answer: Monovalent means that the vaccine targets only one strain of a virus. In the case of COVID, the monovalent vaccine targets the original strain of the COVID-19 virus only. Monovalent must be used for the primary series of a COVID vaccine.
Bivalent means that the vaccine targets both the original strain of COVID-19 and the BA.4/BA.5 strains of the omicron variant. It is designed to boost immunity to both the original strain and the strain currently circulating in the community. Bivalent is only available as a booster dose in individuals 5 years and older. Bivalent shots will replace the monovalent vaccine as a booster because, like seasonal flu vaccines, it targets the current COVID variants.
Answer: Individuals 5 years and older are eligible to receive the new Pfizer booster if they completed their primary series of a COVID vaccine and it has been at least 2 months since their last dose of the vaccine. If your child (5+) has already received one booster dose, they are eligible to receive this new booster if it has been at least 2 months since their first booster.
Answer: We offer the Pfizer bivalent COVID booster for 5+ year old patients at scheduled Well Child Check-ups and follow-up visits. We are also planning a drive-thru event on November 5th for 5-11 year old patients to receive the Pfizer bivalent COVID booster.
Additionally, we offer COVID vaccine only appointments for established Allegro patients on Wednesday afternoons at our administration building. Please be aware that availability is currently very limited on these Wednesdays due to increased demand and limited staffing.
Answer: Yes. It is safe for your child to receive the new bivalent booster as soon as their isolation period from COVID infection has ended.
Answer: It depends on your child and family’s risk factors. There is some evidence that waiting 3 months after infection produces a better immune response if your child has no risk factors. For patients who are immune suppressed, have chronic health conditions, or live with someone who is high-risk, it is better to not risk reinfection at all during the holiday season than to wait too long. We recommend high-risk children get a booster as soon as possible.
Answer: Your child should get their COVID booster at least two weeks prior to any travel or high-risk indoor gathering. Immunity after a booster vaccine is expected to last at least several months.
Answer: No. Children under the age of 12 will get a smaller dose than adolescents and adults do.
Answer: No. Individuals 5 years and older must have completed their primary series of a monovalent COVID vaccine in order to be eligible to receive the new bivalent COVID booster.
Answer: Yes! We are offering a Drive-Thru Bivalent COVID Booster Clinic for children 5-11 years old on November 5th. Scheduling is available on our Schedule a Visit page.
Answer: Yes. Like all COVID vaccines, the new bivalent boosters are safe to get at the same time as any other routine childhood vaccination.
Answer: Yes. The bivalent booster is now offered at most local pharmacies and at Seattle Children's Hospital. Visit the Vaccine Locator to find an appointment in your area.
Answer: The FDA no longer authorizes the use of the original, monovalent Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to be used as booster doses in individuals 5+ years old for Pfizer and 6+ years old for Moderna.
Answer: There is no change to the 6 months to 4 year old vaccines recommendations at this time. This age group is not yet eligible for a booster dose.
Answer: All children 6 months and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine. Allegro Pediatrics supports your family’s decision to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine. We do have limitations on what we can offer in clinic to our patients. At this time, we offer the Moderna vaccine to children 6 months – 4 years old because it is a two-dose series instead of Pfizer’s three-dose series for this age group. We will continue offering the Pfizer COVID vaccine to all patients 5 years and older. Please visit Vaccinate WA to find vaccine locations in the community if you would prefer a different brand for your child’s specific age range.
Below is an overview of the approved vaccines by brand and age, as well as what is offered at Allegro Pediatrics.
Answer: All doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for patients 5+, including booster doses, are available at scheduled Well Child Check-ups and follow-up appointments. The Moderna COVID vaccine for patients 6 months - 4 years old is available at scheduled Well Child Check-ups and follow-up appointments. We also offer COVID vaccine only appointments for current Allegro patients on Wednesday afternoons at our administrative building. Please be aware that availability is currently very limited on these Wednesdays due to increased demand and limited staffing.
Pfizer: We recommend your child get their second dose 3 weeks after the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. If for any reason they cannot, know that 3 weeks is a minimum interval. You should schedule the second vaccine as soon as possible after 3 weeks.
Moderna: We recommend your child get their second dose 4 weeks after the first dose of the Moderna vaccine. If for any reason they cannot, know 4 weeks is a minimum interval. You should schedule the second vaccine as soon as possible after 4 weeks.
Answer: We advise that every patient get protected against COVID-19 infection as soon as they are eligible. Any patient who gets their first dose when they are 11 years old then turns 12 years old before their second dose should receive the 12+ year-old dose for their second shot.
Answer: While we primarily only offer this brand to patients 6 months - 4 years old, the Moderna vaccine is approved for use in children 6 months through 5 years old. Your child can receive their second dose of the Moderna vaccine if they turn 5 before their second dose. If your child waits to receive the vaccine at an in clinic appointment after they turn 5 years old, we will have the Pfizer vaccine available to them.
Answer: No. The approved COVID vaccines have been shown to safe for kids. Medically complex children are at highest risk for complications from COVID infection, so it is very important to ensure they are protected as soon as possible.
Answer: Yes. When reviewing the data of the tens of millions of vaccines given around the world, only a few patients in total experienced a severe allergic reaction. As a precautionary measure, we monitor all patients for 15 minutes after they receive their COVID vaccine and ask any patient with a history of severe allergic reactions (needing an Epi-Pen) to be observed by medical personal for 30 minutes after their shot.
Answer: Yes! More than 13.5 million children have been infected by COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Children represent 18.9% of total cumulated cases.
Answer: Just because adults tend to get far sicker than children, doesn’t mean that COVID-19 infection in kids is no big deal.
The vaccine significantly lessens the incidence of transmission, serious disease, hospitalizations, and death in all ages.
Answer: No. In the history of vaccines, most serious side effects occur in the first month—really the first days and weeks—that a vaccine is given. We recommend that you do not wait because we believe the true risks of COVID infection far outweigh the minimal risks of COVID vaccine. In the history of medicine, it is much more likely that a virus (COVID infection) will trigger an autoimmune problem than a single protein delivered by a vaccine.
Answer: Vaccine companies have studied a variety of lower doses to find the optimal match between providing protection while minimizing side effects. The Pfizer pediatric vaccine is one-third the adult dose, so the trials showed fewer of the temporary side effects that many adults and teens who got Pfizer vaccine experienced. Additionally, the Moderna vaccine for those 6 months to 4 years old is one-fourth the adult dose. Reported side effects are minimal and may include sore arms, fever, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, nausea, headache, or redness and pain at the injection site.
Answer: While there are some reactions that mimic illness, there is clear guidance that symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell can only come from COVID infection. If your child experiences any of those symptoms, your child should be tested. Symptoms such as fever, fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea, nausea, and headache could be from either the vaccine or from infection so should be monitored at home. If these reactions self-resolve in 1-2 days, they are due to the vaccine and your child should return to school. If they continue past two days or worsen rather than improve, you should have your child tests or seen by a provider. If your child has soreness, redness, or swelling in the arm at the injection site, that can only be due to a strong immune response to the vaccine, in which case your child is not contagious so if they feel well enough, they should continue to attend school.
Answer: Yes, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated, even if you have already been sick with COVID-19. Early research suggests that even if you have had COVID-19, natural immunity may not last very long. Additionally, it is not known how long after being infected with COVID-19 you may be able to get it again, and reinfection has occurred in the community. Receiving the vaccine will better protect you from contracting the virus again. Here is some information on special situations that may impact the timing of receiving a COVID vaccine:
Answer: No. Although the CDC initially recommended a 14-day waiting period between all vaccines and the COVID vaccine, it has since been proven to be safe when given at any time before or after any other vaccine, including the seasonal flu vaccine.
Answer: No. None of the approved COVID vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.
Answer: The CDC has released new data on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant and breastfeeding individuals. It has been found that pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Receiving a COVID vaccine is the best way to prevent severe illness from COVID. There is currently no evidence that receiving the COVID vaccine causes fertility problems in women or men. We recommend you contact your obstetrician to discuss your individual risk factors.
Answer: The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines both use mRNA technology. While this is the first time it’s being widely used in a vaccine for the public, this type of vaccine has been researched for more than three decades. Watch this quick animation that explains how mRNA vaccines work!